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AmericanCourage #242 23 DEC 2010
Print | ONLINE STORE
Date line 10/31/2010
Omaha (Elkhorn) Nebraska,
Young Marine CPL Kaden Edward Duysen disregards his own safety and goes house to house ARMED ONLY with his JACK O LANTERN and NCO SABER checking that the neighborhood is safe from ghost and goblins. Neighbors reward him for his heroism with lots of candy and love and admiration. The Young Leatherneck said he wasn't afraid of no ghost and that he was just doing what many have done before him... It's just part of being a Marine. Ahruuuga...
Cpl Duysen is the Grandson of Marine Cpl Dale Peterson
(1972-1978) of Elkhorn, Nebraska.
In This Issue
Merry Christmas! The next story is about Christmas and Gen. Mattis. The more I read and hear of this General, the more I think he belongs in the Chesty, Gray, and short list of other Generals. When I was with 11th Marines, Hq Btty near DaNang 69-70, when we were put "on alert"; at sunset the 1st MarDiv General and 11th Marines 0-6 got on a helicopter and spent the night on a Navy ship in DaNang harbor. I don't see Chesty, Gray, Mattis and some others doing that. Great story below.
Also adding a great number of Christmas stories on the Blog this week...don't miss them!
Alzheimer's and the power of the Corps, touching. Heart of a Marine reinforces it is not Old Corps or New Corps just Marine Corps.
Nile White. Most of you probably read his stories, but did not notice who they were from. He wrote often. As he got closer to the end I could tell the drugs, pain, old age were taking their toll. I had to edit his missives more. But through it all he had a great Marine spirit and insight. I will miss not getting his submissions.
Toward the end you will find an Army-Navy game perspective worth your time to read. And finish with Major Ray Mendoza.
Fair winds and following seas.
A couple of months ago, when I told General Krulak, the former Commandant of the Marine Corps, now the chair of the Naval Academy Board of Visitors, that we were having General Mattis speak this evening, he said, "Let me tell you a Jim Mattis story."
General Krulak said, when he was Commandant of the Marine Corps, every year, starting about a week before Christmas, he and his wife would bake hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of Christmas cookies. They would package them in small bundles. Then on Christmas day, he would load his vehicle. At about 4 a.m., General Krulak would drive himself to every Marine guard post in the Washington-Annapolis-Baltimore area and deliver a small package of Christmas cookies to whatever Marines were pulling guard duty that day.
He said that one year, he had gone down to Quantico as one of his stops to deliver Christmas cookies to the Marines on guard duty. He went to the command center and gave a package to the lance corporal who was on duty. He asked, "Who's the officer of the day?" The lance corporal said, "Sir, it's Brigadier General Mattis." And General Krulak said, "No, no, no. I know who General Mattis is. I mean, who's the officer of the day today, Christmas day?" The lance corporal, feeling a little anxious, said, "Sir, it is Brigadier General Mattis."
General Krulak said that, about that time, he spotted in the back room a cot, or a daybed. He said, "No, Lance Corporal. Who slept in that bed last night?" The lance corporal said, "Sir, it was Brigadier General Mattis."
About that time, General Krulak said that General Mattis came in, in a duty uniform with a sword, and General Krulak said, "Jim, what are you doing here on Christmas day? Why do you have duty?" General Mattis told him that the young officer who was scheduled to have duty on Christmas day had a family, and General Mattis decided it was better for the young officer to spend Christmas Day with his family, and so he chose to have duty on Christmas Day. General Krulak said, "That's the kind of officer that Jim Mattis is."
The story above was told by Dr. Albert C. Pierce, the Director of the Center for the Study of Professional Military Ethics at The United States Naval Academy. He was introducing General James Mattis who gave a lecture on Ethical Challenges in Contemporary Conflict in the spring of 2006. This was taken from the transcript of that lecture.
As a Marine, Viet Nam Vet, and Marine Corps League Life Member, I was pleased to help my wife form a Marine Corps League Auxiliary. Recently she and her team visited the Arizona State Veterans Home in Phoenix prior to the Holiday Season. One of the vets is an elderly woman in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's. She spends her days lost in a confused, mental fog. She doesn't know where she is, who she is or even where she lives. She is mentally gone. But amazingly, if you ask her about her military background she stands up proud and erect and declares in a loud, clear voice, "I'm a Marine and proud of it!" For a few minutes she will speak of her WWII Marine Corps experiences and then, suddenly she is gone, having slipped back down into the black abyss that is her reality and curse.
Who else could feel such deep, intense pride in her military service that the mere mention of it can momentarily pull her up out her Alzheimer's darkness. Who else but a member of the few, the proud, the United States Marines!
On December 08 1941 my father MSGT Russell Dalrymple was serving at Marine Barracks Sumay Guam for two (2) the fought the J-ps until all ammo was depleted; then on December 10 1941 he was captured and remained a Prisoner of War and slave of the J-ps for the next 1365 days and he never said a good word about those people.
Dad on this 69th (sixty-ninth) anniversary I know you are with the Lord, GOD Bless you and SEMPER FI!
Love your son,
CPL Mike Dalrymple
United States Marine Corps
1972 - 1975
Fall of Saigon
3rd Plt Charlie Co
1st Bn 9th Marines
3rd Mar Div (FMF Rein)
April 25 - 29 1975
And I Quote...
"You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance that they are the most ferocious fighters on Earth. And the amusing thing about it is that they are."
--Kevin Keaney, US Navy chaplain, Korea 1951
First thank you for a great newsletter. The stories bring back both fond and not so fond memories.
On December 3rd, 2010, I had the honor of attending the graduation of Platoon 2141 that included Private McGraw. Picture attached.
I am here to report that the Marine Corps is still producing fine young men that will uphold our traditions.
While there, I had this enlightened thought that 40 years before I was on that same drill field enjoying the company of my drill instructors. Funny how that happened.
Michael Kirby 2705192
Hello, I am a Motor Officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and a former Marine (87-93). I had the opportunity to escort the Blue Angels pilots a few months ago when they were in town for an air show. The first two images are of me standing next to the C-130 named "Fat Albert" that is manned by a Marine air crew. Just thought it would be a pretty cool photo to share.
God Bless and Semper Fi!
i have two because i cannot decide on which one is better..
The HEART of a MARINE
There are those among us, who at a glance, appear to be no different than the rest. At a glance, it would be impossible to tell that there are some among us who are set apart. Oh, but they are there. There are those who stand straighter, walk prouder, who live stronger than the rest. There are those among us that are known as The Few, The Proud, The Marines.
Marines are a rare breed among humans. Before America was even declared a country, the Marines were there to defend her. Since then, the Marine Corps has had an illustrious and glorious history. It is not necessary to recount the accomplishments of the Corps. The actions of Marines have solidified their reputation - making them without a doubt the finest fighting force the world. It is an irrefutable fact that Marines are most feared by their enemies.
Even among Marines, there are those who stand out among the rest. They look at every challenge as a thing to be overcome and conquered. They do not shy away from difficulty but meet it head on. They are the ones who pass the hardest tests to fill the most dangerous jobs. They prove themselves time and again to show that they are, quite simply, the best.
These heroes, for that is what they are, are the very essence of the Marine Corps. It is because of these remarkable fighters that the name 'Marine' strikes fear into the hearts of America's enemies, and is said with reverence by those they defend. It is an almost mythical power that they hold. Of these extraordinary Marines, there is one among them that is unlike any other. His name is not well known, nor are his accomplishments, except among those who love him most. This Marine, who is beyond any doubt a fighter of the greatest kind, has the blood of warriors in his veins. Those who know him well would bear witness that he is a man who puts all others before himself.
This man joined his beloved Corps when he was seventeen, recruited by a Marine that attended the same school and played for the same football team. These two men have an unshakable bond that goes beyond the bounds of friendship. His sisters would testify that this man always wanted to be a Marine. Since becoming one of the few, he has put his heart into the Corps.
This is a Marine who has seen action twice in Iraq and twice in Afghanistan during his time in the Corps. He has risen well above and beyond the call of duty. He puts his brother's lives before his, and has risked his own life to save theirs. He has not come through the battles unscathed, but rejected the recognition that the medal he was offered would bring.
I have the honor of calling this Marine a friend. It would be impossible for me to do justice to this man with my words. His recruiter and mentor, his fellow Marines, his sisters, and I have all come short when trying to find a way to show what kind of heart he has. He continues to amaze us all. No one has ever been able to understand him completely, and it's doubtful that anyone ever will. However, it is he himself that helped unlock his heart.
The effect of his words has rendered us all speechless. Feeble attempts to show what an incredible man he is fall short of what he truly deserves. His words, given to me unexpectedly and without any hesitation, deserve to be shown to everyone.
These words, we believe, have already made themselves immortal. They come from one of the greatest warriors on Earth, a member of the United States Marine Corps, Sergeant Matthew Mcfarland. "If you don't have brotherhood - who are you? Just a guy with a gun. Brotherhood is the life and the blood. It's not about the money, its family and blood and glory as one.
Mentality - it's not about battling terrorists, it's about battling your own fears and demons -they are your worst enemy. You have the mentality, you have the field.
The Marine Corps is not about being 'gung ho oorah.' It's about the heart and spirit for one's Nation, one's Flag, one's Family. One love for one thing - going in a kid and coming out a man with a purpose in the world - looking after your brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers. It's who shall step in those yellow footprints and feel and hold the knowledge that they are becoming one of The Few, The Proud, The Marines.
It's meant to be proven. Being a badass and having a 'look at me' show off style - that will only get you so far.
You earn respect and count on each other. That's more important than a medal. When everyone is able to let their head touch a pillow and think 'we're all back safe, no one lost a brother,' that's a better feeling than a medal. A medal you have always, but a brother on the field, you can lose like that. Cherish what you can lose in the blink of an eye, not a medal. A medal is not going to be there when you're hit or when you need a hand. Your brothers are going to be there with you 24-7, that medal is only there when you pin it up.
If I could, I would trade my medals and get my brother's lives back. You can give me all credit you want to but the true credit goes to my brothers that inspired me through heart and soul."
Sergeant Matthew Mcfarland, USMC
4 September 2010
And I Quote...
"A good moral character is the first essential in a man..."
I wanted to share some pictures (see more) of my lil devil pup. All items courtesy of Sgt Grit! I wanted to thank you guys for your awesome customer service! Keep up the good work!
I just wanted to share this with the Marine community. At school my 10 year old Niece Alex had to finish a "I am thankful for..." paper. I was surprised and tearful when the first thing she was thankful for was "the US Marines because they saved us".
With the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and my ties with the USMC, I am sure I have instilled a bit of her beliefs in the Marine Corps and the Military as a whole, but sometimes it is what I haven't said. I am so proud that at 10 years old she is proud and supportive. It is simply amazing the little things that children can say or think or believe that mean the world to those who are fighting, have fought, or have given their lives for all of us.
Please share this where ever you can...I think it is one of the strongest things a child could ever say. Thank you
From a Proud Aunt
Amanda L Meixell
I was first introduced to Toys for Tots after returning from Nam. I was stationed at Sand Point NAS training reserves and saw the program at work. For the last 10 years my wife and I started a tradition where we take the grand kids Christmas shopping for toys two weeks before Christmas. It started with one 2 year old girl and we now need to use both my crew cab truck and my wife's sedan. The twist is that they don't get to keep the toys. All of the toys purchased that day are then delivered to Toys for Tots.
When they are 2 years old they don't really understand why they have to leave the toys (they do learn early that they get a cookie or ice cream cone with Grampa if they leave them) but as they get older they start to understand that there are kids out there that would get nothing if it wasn't for them. This tradition has been a blessing as much for them to learn generosity as it is for the Tots and we get to spend the day with the kids.
We start by taking them to lunch at Denny's. We end the day by taking them back to their home via Christmas lights and Christmas carols on the cd. Someday I'll tell them my story about Christmas eve chapel service in Da Nang in 1968 with a 38 on my hip and an M-14 at my side and incoming at 0100.
Semper Fi, Greg Creech, Sgt USMC, never retired, always the proud son of a Sgt Major and son of a Cpl. E-8 + E-4 = E-5 Share the Love, take your kids and/or grand kids shopping for Toys For Tots.
Re-Dedication 9/20/2010 of the 1st (I'm almost positive) Vietnam Veteran Memorial in the State or country, originally in South Boston, Ma 09/13/1981. As always led by Marines.
"If you forget my name, then I died in vain"
The South Boston Vietnam Veteran's Memorial sits in the M Street Park in South Boston, Massachusetts. Everyone listed on the monument had come to the park sometime during their childhood. It is thought to be the first Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the country.
The idea for building the monument came while some friends had gathered to remember three of their friends who had been killed in 1968 while serving in Vietnam. It was the tenth anniversary of their deaths.
The three were part of a group of six friends that joined the military together. The surviving friends began to reminisce about other members of their community that had given their lives in Vietnam. By the time they were done, they had counted 25 fallen friends. In remembrance to their friends, they decided to build a memorial.
The memorial was built with funds raised from the community and $30,000 donated by the City of Boston. It was designed by Harry Carrol and dedicated on September 13, 1981.
The guest speaker at the dedication was James Webb, an officer Tom Lyons had met in Vietnam. Also, in attendance were the Governor, Mayor, a Senator, a Congressman, and several military officials.
The Memorial is rededicated every fall as the family and friends of these men gather and remember their lives and the sacrifices they all made and let all know that they did not die in vain..
LCPL South Boston, MA
And I Quote...
"There is the finest body of troops in the world, those gallant Marines who are ever ready to devote themselves to the interests of their country."
--Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister of England, 1879
CWO-5 Lew Lazada made mention of being in Hawaii in Jan. 1961 in G-3-12. I was in First Composite Radio Company, from August '60- March'62 right down the street from him. A recon company was next door. In fact Al Gray (later Commandant) was our Operations Officer as a Captain. I had a friend I had gone to school with here in TN that was a member of G-3-12. His name was Calvin Fitzhugh. I think Calvin took part in the rodeos they had there on base.
The other association with a story was from L/CPL Armer. Yes, I was a 2571 ditty chaser. At first we were 2536 and the school at MCRD was 2533. They later combined the two MOS's to 2571. I graduated Imperial Beach in April 1959. We went back to MCRD for about a month. we had mess duty until we got our first duty station. It wasn't good, ADAK ALASKA. A very dreary place for a year.
Luckily I went from there to First Composite Radio Company at Kaneohe, Hawaii. I arrived there in August of 1960. Our company was split into teams, 3 I think. One team would pretty well be gone somewhere in the Far East all time. Capt. Gray would always arrange about a 2 week layover on our return trip home in Japan. We would always stay at Kami Seya. We would muster at morning to see if any word on transportation had been arranged, and if it wasn't we were free to go to town or whatever.
When we went to Korea in Oct. of '60 we picked up a few guys from Kami Seya. I only remember one man. A M/SGT Crowe went with us. When payday came he always wanted to lend out his money so he wouldn't drink it up. One of the guys I was in Adak with went to Kami Seya. His name was Terry Price. Later that year we went to San Miguel Philippines. After our surveillance duties were over, we had a 10 day basket leave. We started to Clark Field but a friend of mine and I got no further than Olongopo and stayed there for a week. Of course that is where Subic Bay is located. Check out NSG History website. There you will find pictures of IB classes and pictures of all NSG bases.
L/CPL Harold Beasley
I'm not a Marine, not even a Veteran. The closest I ever got was an impromptu stand-in at a Patriot Guard funeral. (American Courage # 199)
I am, however, an avid history buff and a voracious reader. I struck out at the local library recently and decided to [re]read one of the books in my library.
I decided on MARINE! The Life of Chesty Puller by Burke Davis. It's a paperback and it's condition indicates it's been read several times. No matter; it's a favorite.
Be safe, Marines. Happy Christmas.
I'm writing you this in response to the American Courage letter I received on 10 December 2010, specifically, the section by Henry J Lewis about his father, CPL Elmer B Lewis who fought on Kwajalein with the 4th Marine Division's first wave.
I and some fellow Marines who are working on Kwajalein today would like to show our appreciation to the Lewis family and our fellow Leatherneck. On 12 December 2010 we are going to gather all the Marines on base and fly the American flag at half mast at the Veteran's Hall (American Legion post #44). At 1000 hours, we will gather for a photo to submit for your next newsletter or if you would be so kind as to forward to the Lewis family.
The people who serve and live on Kwajalein today pay special homage to our Veterans and see remnants of battles fought long ago, everyday. This is our chance to show one that Marines are a family and to his family that their loved one is respected and that we are grateful.
Jack T. Jackson
Contractor, Kwajalein Police Department
Sergeant, Shift Supervisor, RNPD
US Army Kwajalein Atoll
And I Quote...
"A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons."
--Rear Admiral David Porter, US Navy, 1863
I have been getting the newsletter for awhile and this is the first time that I have had something to contribute. Back around the time of this year's birthday celebration a Marine by the name of Sgt. Lekosky was fatally stabbed on the streets of New Orleans. The Marine Corps gave him an in the line of duty, full military honors, funeral due to him being in uniform at the time of the stabbing. A local organization by the name of the Patriot Guard was in attendance at the funeral and they were kind enough to share their photos with me.
This organization escorted Sgt. Lekosky to report in for his final tour of duty. Although I never served with Sgt. Lekosky something told me to post this seeing as to my knowledge the individuals involved still have not been brought to justice. There are more photos of the funeral on the website listed below under the Patriot Guard. Courtesy of ScooterShots .com
Cpl. Donley, Martin
P.S. Just an update on Sgt. Lekosky's case. Two individuals have been charged but, not yet convicted of the stabbing per The Caller Times in Corpus Christi.
Family, Marines Honor WWII Hero On 90th Birthday WESTWOOD, Mass.--
More than 100 family members and Marine Corps veterans gathered Friday, Nov. 26., at the nearby Walpole Club to honor Captain George J. Brennan Jr, USMC retired, a World War II pilot who amassed a chest full of medals, including The Air Medal with 20 gold stars and seven Distinguished Flying Cross's with seven gold stars on his 90th birthday.
The surprise celebration, arranged by his family of six children, 24 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren (soon to be 14); U. S. Marine Corps, Marine Corps League and BayState College associates honored the World War II Marine aviator who survived being shot down twice in the Pacific while flying 240 missions in Douglas Dauntless dived bombers and the gull winged F4U Corsair in the South Pacific.
"I must say this a total surprise, " he said, after receiving a citation and challenge coin from and a plaques commemorating his combat record from Robert Delong, vice commandant, New England Division, Marine Corps (MCL) and Paul Porter, commandant, Dept. of Mass., MCL.
Helping Brennan celebrate his birthday was is bride of 66 years Ruth Connington, his high school sweetheart, who waited until after his war exploits in 1944 to marry him and accompany him to his duty station at Jacksonville, Florida, where he would be assigned to train new Navy and Marine pilots.
George Brennan, Jr. was born in Roxbury, near Mission Hill, the son of Boston policeman. He attended St. Thomas Aquinas School. By the fourth grade his favorite magazines was 'War Birds' about WW1 aircraft. He graduated from English High School and from Northeastern University in 1947, attending nights to make up for his missed years because of his military service.
Following his retirement from the Marines, Brennan went to work for Pratt & Whitney, manufacture of aircraft engines, flew for the former Northeast Airlines and founded Baystate College to train former military flyers for business. He has been retired as president of BayState College in 1981, now is President Emeritus, and is still active as a consultant and on the golf course.
The Brennan's have resided in Westwood, Mass., for the past 23 years and winter in Fort Lauderdale, Flordia.
WWII Hero At 90 George J. Brennan, Jr., a retired World War II Marine aviator, and his bride of 66 years, Ruth Connington, are surrounded by Marine veterans from the Department of Massachusetts Marine Corps League, and a U.S. Marine recruiter, at his 90th Birthday Party held recently at the Walpole Country Club. From left to right are: Mike Chouinard; Birnie Heaney, Dept. Commandant Paul Porter, Bob Gore, SSgt. Ryan Ward, (Westwood recruiter), Warren Griffin and Tony Garrow. (MCL photo by Matt Knas)
The following is the account of my grandfather Ralph Niehaus's WW II awards and funeral that was held Saturday. Just wanted to let you know that there are still a few more seriously decorated Marines that were still hanging in there.
NIEHAUS, RALPH H.
Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve)
Company K, 3d Battalion, 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division
Date of Action: July 26, 1944
The Navy Cross is presented to Ralph H. Niehaus, Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism as Leader of a Rifle Platoon of Company K, Third Battalion, Twenty-First Marines, Third Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Guam, Maranias Islands, 26 July 1944. After strong hostile forces had enveloped his Regiment's right flank and had occupied a strategic position to the right rear of our lines, Second Lieutenant Niehaus boldly led his platoon in a determined night attack against this numerically superior Japanese force and, employing hand grenades and bayonets in a desperate Hand-to-hand struggle, directed his men in killing a large number of the enemy and in driving the majority of the hostile force from the position. Although all but four of his men had been wounded and he had been wounded twice, he persisted in the attack until ordered to withdraw to permit shelling of the area. Then, personally covering the withdrawal of his men and the evacuation of the wounded although he, himself, was wounded a third time, he returned under heavy fire to carry the last of the casualties to safety, continuing in his efforts until loss of blood necessitated his removal to an aid station. By his aggressive fighting spirit, daring initiative and courageous devotion to duty, Second Lieutenant Niehaus prevented the Japanese from exploiting the envelopment of the Regiment's right flank, and his conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
SPOT AWARD, FMF Pac: Serial 00435
Born: at Reading, Ohio
Home Town: Cincinnati, Ohio
And I Quote...
"One hundred and seventy-three despots would surely be as oppressive as one."
First, I entered MCRDSD on 25 Oct 1967. We were issued the M1 Rifle. And not too long before we hit Qual Day at Edson Range, Camp Pendleton, we were issued the M14. Never fired the M1. Loved the M14 though. I got an M16 when I hit Danang. It fired great and the ammo was a lot lighter to carry. But I really had misgivings about using it in hand-to-hand combat. Just too light. The M14 was still a weapon even you ran out of ammo. Swing that thing like a baseball bat and heads rolled, for sure.
Now, I am going to try to clear something up. I read your newsletter every week from beginning to end, and I am so tired of seeing these wonderful Brother and Sister Marines telling us that they feel like they are less of a Marine just because the never made "Footprints in the muddy jungles."
Why can't we Marines understand that is was our Drill Instructors that made us Marines! It is not the MOS you had AFTER Boot Camp that made you a Marine. For God's sakes Marines, stop putting your selves down because you never had to fight in a fox hole. We were Marines when that Captain did a left face in front of us and handed us our very first Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, and said Congratulations MARINE. I don't know about you but I was standing there in front of this Captain bawling like a baby. It was finally over, OR it was finally the beginning. However you want to look at it, it was the end of boot camp, but the beginning of being a Marine FOR THE REST of YOUR LIFE!
Don't you get it, Marines? THAT is when you became a Marine. NOT when you fired your rifle out of anger for the first time. There is no First Class Marine or Third Class Marine. Just Marines. I am an MOS 6511 Aviation Ordnanceman. I was working in the ammo dump at Marble Mountain Air Facility. Later on, I volunteered to fly Door Gunner with HMM-263. It did not matter to those injured Marines what my MOS was.
So, how 'bout it? Go look at yourself in the Mirror, and tell yourself what a great Marine you are. If you got an Honorable Discharge, then you are just as much a Marine as the rest of us. BE PROUD of YOURSELVES!
Semper Fi Marines. And that means ALL of you Marines out there.
Charles (Chuck) Brewer, Sergeant of Marines 1967-1973, AOA School 1968, MOS 6511 Ordnanceman, Vietnam 1969-1970, Door Gunner HMM-263 1970, Senior Instructor NCO Leadership 1971, Honorary Lifetime Member USMC Combat Helicopter Assoc. (www.Popasmoke.com), Combat Veteran.
Am I PROUD? You bet I am. I'm a d-mn MARINE!
Just wanted to forward a letter to the readers here. I am a cold war Marine and served Stateside other than a few training exercises somewhere in the pacific. After parting ways with active duty I went to Texas for some reason unknown to me or my lady wife where we had our first child, a boy. I brought him home in my dress blues. See Attachments.
Like all fathers I had hoped he would follow in my footsteps one day and join the brotherhood. After 18 years and a lot of "training" later he found a pair of yellow footprints of his own. As a pre qualifier to shipping out to boot camp the recruiter required an essay on why my son should be allowed in our Corps. I have included a copy for your enjoyment. I went to his graduation and recently visited his command at Camp Pendleton and was asked to Promote him to Corporal. I did it in the way I was promoted in the grunts, I pinned him hard and set his blood stripes forever. Cannot wait to promote him to Sgt.
3rd LAI Battalion..
ps.. the essay my son wrote.
Why I want to be a Marine.
I could say that I want to be a Marine because I want the money, or I want the pride of being one, but that would not be entirely true. To be a Marine to me, is to be part of something greater than your own, to be part of a cause that benefits others and to be proud at the fact that we do it better than others.
As a Marine you look out for each other, for anything and everything; the life of your brother is more important than your own, and to be ready to die to save him is worth such a sacrifice, I want to become something that I can be proud of and that nobody can take away from me, to be a Marine is to go above and beyond in the name of liberty, and compassion.
I read many citations of recipients for the Congressional Medal of Honor, and realized that that is what being there for your brother means, that is the result of ultimate sacrifice, and that is what being a Marine suggests as... Death before dishonor. I say that because I feel that being unwilling to make a sacrifice for the cause greater than your own is cheap and unfitting for honor. What I have demonstrated in the past is unacceptable, and I owe it to myself to find who I am, I am strong, I am loyal, and I am determined.... Inside, but the sacrifice of leaving comforts is unnerving although I cannot back down to what I have wanted for many years. That is to become a Marine, a minister of death and loyal to the end for a country that is free, and a father that has given me a path, and I do not wish to stray from the path of honor and pride of belonging...
I wish to Become a U.S. Marine, I will be a great chef, and I will make a life for myself, my future family, and give more pride to my family.... Why am I so stubborn that I cannot see that.
I will not falter at the moment of truth, I will not go quietly into the night, never to look back at what could have been, because it will happen now, and I will be strong.
Of my own free will,
Keegan Brian Shannon
I had the SUV Window Graphic #WG25 " The Few, The Proud" (See picture) installed on my 1999 Lexus SUV by a local company and they did a great job! Some of the other Marine goodies on my SUV are also from Sgt. Grit. Since San Antonio Texas is a "Military city", primarily Air Force and Army, I get lot of "honks" and "Oorahs" from my brother Marines when they see us on the street. I have not seen another graphic like mine in San Antonio.
This picture was taken by my niece, Cindy. (Her dad, my cousin, is a Marine, too.)
Keep up the great work! You have lots of goodies in your catalog that are on my wish list!
Jose M. Zertuche
Dear Sgt. Grit,
I have returned to the U.S. after working abroad for many years and I am now settled into a nice patch of Virginia landscape not too far from Quantico.
One note of alarm regarding your most recent missive, which seems to treat the one-r Paris unkindly. I've done my time on Parris Island, as a recruit nearly 50 years ago, and working on a project as recently as last month. The sand fleas are still there, and the Drill Instructors still have that gift of terrifying intimacy (they know how to get inside a recruit's "personal space"). And I've also had the pleasure of living in the one-r Paris for four years.
I can assure you, the cognac is better in Paris. And the French hardly ever drink tea (that's for the Lobsterbacks across La Manche).
Bugs & hisses,
Sgt. Marchant said that his wife said "NO" while deciding about another tour. My answer is: "If the Corps had wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one". This goes back to my first experience with marriage at age 17. My then wife said "NO", and I joined the Corps in 1950. Three months with a beautiful Cajun wife, but then 4 years with the beautiful Corps.
Clyde Hart, 1950-1954
A shout out to Ken White regarding his uncle Nile.
I had the privilege of serving with Nile when I was stationed at Camp Pendleton circa 1967-1968. He was our company Adjutant in H & S Company, Supply Battalion, 5th Force Service Regiment. I was the OIC of the Fleet Stock Account along with another fine Marine, Master Gunnery Sergeant "Top" Penzek.
Nile and I played together on our regimental softball team. Nile was our pitcher and no one could hit his fastball.
Sorry to hear of his passing, but as you say, many of us our better individuals for having had him grace our lives.
really enjoy these letters . I enlisted in June 1956 boot camp at San Diego. I think it was platoon 308.(not sure) was with first motor transport division at Camp Pendleton. from there to a Marine advisory detachment in Korea or camp was at a little village Kum Chon. spent 14 months working with the Korean Marines. back to San Diego to Coronado island assigned to a vehicle water proofing school. would like to hear from any one that was in any of these places . keep up the good work . enjoy the trips to your store in okc, hard to get our grandson out of there he is in the Young Marine Corps. sooner detachment. . would like to send some pictures (soon as i can find them)
Jim Fisher sgt 1585873
And I Quote...
"This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe. Hither have they fled, not from the tender embraces of the mother, but from the cruelty of the monster; and it is so far true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first emigrants from home, pursues their descendants still."
--Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776
Just a few observations from a 59 year old Marine who is looking more and more each day like a fatter version of Shemp the least funny of the three stooges. Of course I am discounting Curly Joe who was so un funny it was painful to watch.
Today is the Army Navy game my newspaper The Cleveland Plain Dealer doesn't even list it in the games on TV section. The Odds are there of course Navy favored by 71/2. I am struck by this as ESPN and all the sports outlets are wall to wall today about the Heisman and if the Auburn kid had any knowledge of his father asking for $180,000 for him to play. Frankly I don't care and the integrity of the Heisman Trophy (see Reggie Bush and OJ Simpson past winners) vs the last guy on the bench for both Army and Navy is like who looks better in a dress Hillary Clinton or Soffia Vergara (If you don't know who Soffia is look her up it is worth the key strokes, If you don't know who Hillary Clinton is you are in some kind of serious anti pants suit denial and pass me some of that medication)
Any way back to the game we as a society are absolutely blessed to breathe the same air as these fine men and women who not only are preparing to make incredible sacrifices in the future if need be but just the sacrificing of four years for most people fortunate enough to go to a college is a fun filled adventure of drinking, s-x, complaining about the government sleeping in and growing hair.
All of that said I always make a point to watch this game giving these young men their do and possibly 15 minutes of fame. Since the Marines are a Dept of the Navy I root accordingly.
Go Navy beat Army
and may God bless The United States of America
I disagree with 1stSgt Dan Jones and his memory of Marine Corps uniforms. I enlisted 7 July 1964 and went to recruit training at MCRD San Diego as a member of Platoon 361. I was issued a full complement of the "new greens" which were a gabardine material, along with utilities, tropical's and khakis. A few of the recruits were issued the older greens which were called "wool kersey" material. What footwear was issued was dependent of what size foot you had. I was issued brown shoes and rough out boots. Both had to be dyed black and polished to a high shine. Again, some were issued black shoes and smooth leather boots. We were not issued khaki field scarves as they had apparently been phased out. We did wear the khaki short sleeve shirt and long sleeve shirt without field scarf when overseas, but not in CONUS as a liberty uniform.
Dress blues were still made from a rough wool material and sometime around 1967 were changed to a gabardine material. You were permitted